The home inspection occurs after you’re under contract and have had the attorney review. The inspector will usually take four or five hours to inspect the entire property, resulting in an inspection report that will tell you every single thing that is wrong with the house. That’s their job. Some of them tell you even more than everything that’s wrong in the house. I always remind my clients that you’re buying a used house; you’re not buying a brand new house. It’s a used house. You like this house. The important thing is to find out if there are structural issues, and focus on those. Is the chimney safe? Are there termites? And then what happens is you get a huge report, a 70-page report with every little thing that’s wrong in the house, and the focus switches from the structural issues to the little issues. The buyers go back and ask the sellers to fix certain things or give them money toward closing costs so then can fix things in the house. It sometimes becomes a fight, and I’ve seen deals fall apart over it. The buyer wants everything fixed; the seller says they’ll fix the major things, but they’re not going to fix everything. Some of the buyers are stubborn; they want a perfect house when they’re buying a used house, so it becomes a big battle.
I have a situation right now where the inspector’s report showed that the house doesn’t have a septic, but a cesspool, which are apparently illegal in New Jersey. The seller insists it’s not a cesspool, but a septic and supposedly has documentation that says it’s a septic. The inspection clearly states it’s a cesspool, so they’ve been battling for almost two months. Just recently they agreed to have this fixed and are sharing the costs, but I’ve seen plenty of deals fall apart because of inspection issues.
If an issue is fairly big, the sellers will generally have to fix it because it will continually shows up on the inspection report and it becomes an issue with every buyer. If the sellers have been stubborn, unless they find the perfect buyer who desperately wants it, they are going to have to fix it at some point. Rather than go through multiple buyers with the same issue every time, the sellers are better off just fixing it.
I find the fighting between buyers and sellers usually begins when the buyers want everything fixed. Too often, both parties get mad and it becomes a personal battle instead of just a sale or transaction. It’s very common these days for buyers and sellers to be fighting over inspection issues. I tell my clients to fight over the main issues and reach a common ground on everything else, then we move on.
No matter what issues come up during the mortgage process, I’m here to guide you through. Ready to get started? Call or email me today.